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Combat at the Foot of the Hills

Szöveg: Lt. Csaba Búz |  2017. július 20. 9:00

Troops from eight NATO member countries are participating in Exercise Brave Warrior 2017, which is taking place on and around the zero point range, Várpalota, Hungary.

Brave Warrior 2017 is a high-visibility exercise of the members of the Visegrád Cooperation, and this year it has been joined by substantial US, British, Croatian and Romanian forces. Falling under the multinational exercise Saber Guardian 2017, Brave Warrior is a series of increasingly complex tasks and training events, which demonstrates the interoperability of regional and NATO forces, ranking among this year’s largest-scale exercises in Hungary.


In the interest of creating lifelike scenarios, the tactical week comprised a force-on-force operation involving units with contrasting objectives. This meant that the opposing forces had to fight each other to execute their assigned tasks. In the training area, the two sides deployed more than 100 combat vehicles and close to 1,000 troops at the same time. Everyone was moving around the area of several square kilometers as if they had been operating in a real battlefield. For example, the British troops of the “Red" force regularly carried out raids and set up ambushes, inflicting – of course, only theoretically – serious losses on the enemy. In the interest of objective assessment, the exercise directing staff used a system of umpires.

Lt.-Col. István Varga, the commander of the “Blue" unit formed on the basis of the V4 forces, told us that the Hungarian-led battalion, which included soldiers from the HDF 5th Bocskai István Infantry Brigade, professionally performed their tasks. “Our most important goal in the area of operations was to build a common understanding, and we have learned a lot of lessons while exercising with the other nations", the lieutenant-colonel added.


Apart from the tactical missions, mention must also be made of real life support in the camp, because an exercise comprises more than maneuvering on the terrain, as one must also set up tents, provide field feeding, and regularly refuel the combat vehicles – and these tasks require complex organizing work.

Speaking as the officer conducting exercise, Brig.-Gen. Dr. Romulusz Ruszin, the commander of the HDF 5th Bocskai István Infantry Brigade told us that from a tactical point of view, everybody benefited from cooperating with soldiers of other nations, so the pre-set training objectives have been attained. “In terms of troop leading procedures, we have made measurable progress in the last few days because the commanders were able to draw on the lessons learned during the drills in the execution of the subsequent tasks", the general said.

Besides tactics, in the interest of improving and retaining marksmanship skills, the participating nations also held live fire exercises.